Sneak Preview of a Fabulous Book!

Posted July 11, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Nonfiction Picture Books

Tags: , , , , , , ,

ella and marilynI had the opportunity to read Vivian Kirkfield’s upcoming nonfiction book, Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. With a lyrical quality to her writing, Vivian Kirkfield has written a beautiful story of friendship between two iconic personalities, Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. They were different in many ways, but they both had the same hopes and dreams. The author piques curiosity by giving readers a bit of background information about each woman. Ella Fitzgerald wanted to share her music with the world, and Marilyn Monroe hoped to become a great actress. How did these two women forge a life-long friendship? When Marilyn was offered a role in a musical, the first thing she did was to buy her idol’s records to listen to and study. Those records were Ella Fitzgerald’s. Marilyn’s performance in the movie was hailed by critics. This gave Marilyn a voice in her career and future projects. She immediately bought a ticket to Ella Fitzgerald’s next concert and remained afterward to thank Ella for her inspiration. A special bond formed between the two women. During that time, Ella wanted her voice to be heard by everyone, but because of racial discrimination, Ella was not allowed to perform in certain places. Marilyn stepped in to help. She made a bargain with a very popular nightclub owner promising to bring reporters to promote his club if he would hire Ella Fitzgerald to sing. It worked! After lengthy preparations, Ella Fitzgerald was finally able to share her music and voice with the world. Vivian Kirkfields’s talent for telling an inspiring story can be felt with every page turn, and Alleanna Harris’ captivating illustrations harken back to the Golden Age of Hollywood. I highly recommend adding this book to your collection.

Coming this January!

 

Advertisements

Happy Fourth of July!

Posted July 4, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Special Days

Tags: , , ,

Today we celebrate the Declaration of Independence from Great Britain in 1776 and the birth of our nation — the United States of America!

Independence day

“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.” ~Benjamin Franklin

4th-of-july-tradition-1024x536“Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”  ~John F. Kennedy

fireworks

“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” ~Harry S. Truman

Pledge

“The essence of America — that which really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality, or religion. It is an idea — and what an idea it is: that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from, but where you are going.” ~Condoleezza Rice

USA Flag with Fireworks

“One cannot be an American by going about saying that one is an American. It is necessary to feel America, like America, love America, and then work.” ~Georgia O’Keeffe

Yankee Doodle

“You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” ~Erma Bombeck

Let's Celebrate

 

First Lines in Picture Books

Posted June 27, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Picture Books

Tags: ,

First lines in books are extremely important. They provide a hint of what is to come in the pages that follow. They can tell readers who the main character is, what the problem or conflict is, or where the story is taking place. First lines are a golden ticket to a journey through a book.

Let’s take a look at some first lines in picture books.

 

sophieFrom Sophie’s Squash written by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf

One bright fall day, Sophie choose a squash at the farmer’s market.

Her parents planned to serve it for supper, but Sophie had other ideas.

Here the first lines reveal the time of year, the main character, and the fact that the squash would not be served at supper. What will Sophie do with the squash? Turn the page and read.

 

hedgehogFrom Hedgehog Needs a Hug written and illustrated by Jen Betton

When Hedgehog awoke in his cozy nest, he felt down in the snout and droopy in the prickles. I’ll feel better if I get a hug, he thought.

These first lines introduce us to the main character and his wants and needs. Included in these lines are playful descriptions that will surely delight readers.

 

hatFrom This Is Not My Hat written and illustrated by Jon Klassen

This hat is not mine. I just stole it. 

These are definitely not typical first lines in a story. They elicit surprise and reveal a problem which makes readers want to know what’s going to happen next.

 

house onceFrom A House That Once Was written by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Lane Smith

Deep in the woods

is a house

just a house

that once was

but now isn’t a home.

Here the first lines introduce readers to the setting deep in the woods. In this case, the main character happens to be a house that now “isn’t a home.” These lines create a sense of curiosity. Why isn’t the house a home anymore? What happened? Readers will want to turn the pages to find out more.

 

lighthouseFrom Hello Lighthouse written and illustrated by Sophie Blackall

On the highest rock of a tiny island

at the edge of the world stands a lighthouse.

It is built to last forever.

Sending its light out to sea,

guiding the ships on their way.

The first line captures the attention of readers, revealing where this story takes place —”the highest rock of a tiny island at the edge of the world…”  Imagine that! The line, “It is built to last forever,” suggests many keepers of the lighthouse have tended the light, keeping ships safe. As the weather and seasons change, “Hello! …Hello! …Hello!” is repeated throughout the story, inviting readers to learn more about the lighthouse and its inhabitants.

 

When creating your masterpiece, hook readers immediately with your first lines and keep them turning the pages!

 

 

 

 

There Is A Place

Posted June 20, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Special Places

Tags: , , , , ,

There is a place, a Pickity Place, a magical place!

Deep in the woods of southern New Hampshire, you’ll find a little red cottage off the beaten path that has been there since 1786. It’s surrounded by luscious gardens and is a perfect spot to relax and enjoy nature.

IMG_5144 (1)

Pickity Place is the setting for the classic story, Little Red Riding Hood illustrated by Elizabeth Orton Jones. The book was published by Simon & Schuster (Little Golden Books) in 1948.

IMG_5128

51XDWUYGhvL._SX412_BO1,204,203,200_

The cottage has been transformed into an enchanting dining room where visitors can indulge in a delightful five-course gourmet lunch that includes delicious herbs from the gardens and edible flowers. The decor of the interior has numerous artifacts of Little Red Riding Hood.

IMG_5126

If you like a private dining experience, you can choose the Wolf Room.

IMG_5120

IMG_5121

IMG_5122

You can also visit an herb shop, a garden shop, a museum shop, and a greenhouse.

IMG_5136Found in the garden shop — a little fairy house!

A stroll through the beautiful gardens is sustenance for the body and soul.

IMG_5134

Herb Gardens

IMG_5139

Drying Shed and Flower Gardens

IMG_5142

IMG_5132

IMG_5135

There is a place, a Pickity Place, a magical place!

IMG_5127

 

Visit the Pickity Place website here.

 

 

Flag Day!

Posted June 13, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Special Days

Tags: , ,

Flag Day is tomorrow, Friday, June 14. Fly Old Glory proudly!

IMG_5071

“When we honor our flag we honor what we stand for as a Nation — freedom, equality, justice, and hope.”  ~Ronald Reagan

 

If you’re looking for a beautiful book to celebrate our flag and our Nation, I highly recommend this one.

Blue Sky

Blue Sky White Stars written by Sarvinder Naberhaus and illustrated by Kadir Nelson, Dial Books, 2017.

D-Day – Seventy-Five Years Ago

Posted June 6, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Special Days

Tags: , , , ,

“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.” — General Dwight D Eisenhower

d day

Seventy-five years ago, today, the Allied Forces of America, Britain, and Canada stormed five beaches in Normandy, France by air and by sea. American troops landed on the beaches with code names of Utah and Omaha. It was the “largest seaborne invasion in military history.” These men faced a fierce obstacle – the Nazi forces who occupied France. Boys became men that day as they summoned the extraordinary courage to fight the enemy in order to free others from Hitler’s tyranny. The results were many casualties for the Allied Forces, but it also marked the turning point of World War II.

“They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate.” — President Franklin D. Roosevelt

For more information about D-Day, you might want to visit the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy. 

Further reading for kids:

dday

 

What Was D-Day? written by Patricia Brennan Demuth and illustrated by David Grayson Kenyon, Penguin Workshop, 2015.

 

 

landings

D-Day Landings: The Story of the Allied Invasion written by Richard Platt, DK Children, 2004.

 

 

 

 

national

Remember D-Day:  The Plan, the Invasion, Survivor Stories written by Ronald J. Drez, National Geographic Children’s Books, 2015.

A Time of Reflection

Posted May 30, 2019 by Cathy Ogren
Categories: Life

Tags: , , , ,

This past Memorial Day weekend, I had the opportunity to see “The Moving Wall.” It was set up on the Village Green in our town. The wall is a half-size version of the original Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. and it tours the country. You can read more about it here.

IMG_5039

I was surprised by how I reacted when I saw the wall. It brought back memories of the late sixties when there were many protests going on – both peaceful and violent. It was a time when the Selective Service used lottery numbers to determine which men of draft age would be called to duty. My brother had a number, and we prayed he would never be called.

IMG_5036

Young men, many of whom had never been far from home, found themselves in a country filled with the unknown. Danger was everywhere. Besides the enemy, there were monsoon rains, insects, dense jungle foliage, heat, humidity, and the horrors of combat. It felt like an endless war – an unpopular war that did not end well.

IMG_5042

Looking at “The Moving Wall” brought sadness to my heart. It was a quiet, reflective time, as I thought of all those young people who left home to fulfill their duty to their country but never returned.

IMG_5035

IMG_5041

“Bravery is being the only one who knows you’re afraid.” –Colonel David Hackworth


%d bloggers like this: